During the launch of emma, key players in the project from Readership Work’s board members to supporters of the survey got up on stage and shared their thoughts on the new highly anticipated metric:
Greg Hywood, Fairfax Media chief executive
“The thing about our journalism, right across the industry, is that we’ve never had audiences bigger than what we have now. People talk about the good old days when print circulation peaked, I think in circulation terms in around the 1950s and in absolute terms in the 70s, but we have been so aggressive in this country with getting our journalism and our content online – way more successful than in the US and the UK. We have a large audience in the online space, so it seems logical we measure that . . . 70 per cent of our audience accesses our content via smart phone. This is the world we live in and this is what we have to measure.
“The thing about the newspaper industry is it has been too much defined by how we produce, rather than the content we deliver. The fact is if you look at the demographics of who we connect with, we connect with the entire community, we connect with young people, we connect with older people, people all through the various stages of their lives, and we do this with various technologies.
“The reason why [emma] is so exciting is because it says let’s not define the nature of what we do by something that was invented 500 years ago. What we do is as modern as today and tomorrow. We deliver an incredible service to our community. Something that people can’t live without. People want to know what’s going on in their community. People need the context of their lives . . . that service is something that there is an endless demand for, but there is a distortion in the way that we are perceived. This fixes it.”
Michael Miller, APN chief executive
“emma puts regionals on the same page and planning schedule as the metropolitan papers. Again it provides that data across multiple platforms and it’s a tool that allows for a single plan and I think that will be a huge benefit for all newspapers, not just regional papers.”
“I know there are a lot of people in the room who have gone in the past to pitch a section. We know how to pitch the great environment, the great design and the great journalism behind it and the specialist writing, but then the question comes up, how do you actually quantify it? But within emma there are 270 branded sections being measured and that really changes the conversation. We’ve always talked about the environment, and it’s still there, but now we can actually quantify it.”
Jerry Harris, News Corp Australia, executive group director, commercial and operations
“I think that this can only be viewed by anyone in the industry, or anyone who loves the industry, as a very important step. We’ve seen our data points and methodology not change in order to keep up with how current consumers use our products. There’s always been a very high demand for change not just in the newspaper or the magazine industry but also from our advertisers and clients. Emma delivers against all of the frustrations that we’ve had for years. Our users have changed as have where our audiences come from.”
Damian Eales, News Corp Australia, strategic partnerships director and The Readership Works director
“I was very supportive for one reason and that is accountability. When I was back working at David Jones, one of the major department store magnates was quoted as saying: ‘I know 50 per cent of my marketing spend is wasted; I just don’t know which 50 per cent.’ That was certainly a focus at David Jones during the days that I was there. Accountability of spend and determining a precise allocation of spend based on the return that you were going to get from that spend is never going to go out of fashion in marketing. I think for me as a [former] CMO what I see in emma is a much better way to be much more precise in the allocation of spend to ensure that you get a great return on that spend.”
Robin Parkes, Magazines Publishers Association, chief executive
“There were several key reasons why we chose to endorse emma. Firstly we always support best practice research. We believe the seven-day survey methodology is critical for magazines and the way Ipsos asked the questions, for example, using the magazine covers as recall means that you get more accurate results – which is what we all want. Another major factor which led to our decision was the support of the Media Federation of Australia. This is a credible tool and is going to be used by our clients to make well-informed decisions with advertising in our titles.”